IT Security Professional Burnout ‘Adding To Skills Crisis’

security and privacy data

Study finds two-thirds of security professionals have considered quitting their jobs or leaving the industry, as skills gap grows

Pressure on top computer security professionals is leading nearly two-thirds to consider quitting their jobs or leaving the field entirely, adding to a critical skills shortage, a study has found.

The report by Goldsmiths, University of London and Symantec was based on a survey of more than 3,000 chief information security officers and senior cybersecurity decision makers in the UK, France and Germany.

It found some 64 percent had considered leaving their jobs, with 63 percent considering leaving the security industry.

Some 44 percent said they believe their teams lack the necessary skills to compete with attackers, while nearly half said they are too busy to keep up with necessary skills development.


Technology is changing too rapidly for them to adapt, nearly half of respondents said, with the same figure saying they believe attackers have an edge due to backing from the likes of organised crime or national governments.

The findings are concerning at a time when Europe is facing a growing IT security skills gap, said Dr Chris Brauer, director of innovation at Goldsmiths.

“This demanding work comes with high stakes and is fought at a frenetic pace with little support,” he said.

“Add to this the relentless volume of alerts and more mundane tasks, and the job can quickly turn toxic. Highly stressed workers are far more likely to be disengaged and ultimately quit.

“In an industry already plagued by a skills shortage, this is a significant risk to businesses.”

Frost & Sullivan has estimated that Europe’s will digital security skills gap could grow to 350,000 by 2022.